• Before making a single edit, Tropedia EXPECTS our site policy and manual of style to be followed. Failure to do so may result in deletion of contributions and blocks of users who refuse to learn to do so. Our policies can be reviewed here.
  • All images MUST now have proper attribution, those who neglect to assign at least the "fair use" licensing to an image may have it deleted. All new pages should use the preloadable templates feature on the edit page to add the appropriate basic page markup. Pages that don't do this will be subject to deletion, with or without explanation.
  • All new trope pages will be made with the "Trope Workshop" found on the "Troper Tools" menu and worked on until they have at least three examples. The Trope workshop specific templates can then be removed and it will be regarded as a regular trope page after being moved to the Main namespace. THIS SHOULD BE WORKING NOW, REPORT ANY ISSUES TO Janna2000, SelfCloak or RRabbit42. DON'T MAKE PAGES MANUALLY UNLESS A TEMPLATE IS BROKEN, AND REPORT IT THAT IS THE CASE. PAGES WILL BE DELETED OTHERWISE IF THEY ARE MISSING BASIC MARKUP.


WikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotesBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extension.gifPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifier.pngAnalysisPhoto link.pngImage LinksHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconic
"I wonder what you're captain of..."

One of the most common types of superhero names. Simply stick "Captain" in front of this hero's name, and then whatever (usually) noun the writer wants. Perhaps it's to give the impression of leadership, as though this character actually is The Captain. This character won't actually be a captain of some military group, but will often be The Good Captain.

This can even happen with villains as well, although it's rare, and often reserved for parodies.

The notoriety of this naming convention also named the tropes Captain Ethnic, Captain Geographic, Captain Patriotic, Captain Obvious (which was named outside this wiki), Captain Oblivious, Captain Ersatz, and several other members of the All the Tropes Superhero Team.

Again, this is not simply a captain of a ship or military group.

Compare Something Person and Captain Space, Defender of Earth! (which this can overlap if a character is a space hero and a superhero).

Examples of Captain Superhero include:

Anime and Manga

  • Captain Ginyu of "The Ginyu Force" in Dragonball Z is a villainous spoof of this.

Comic Books

  • Captain America might not be the first, but he's one of the most famous. However, he is one of the few who have actually earned the title of Captain.
    • Major Glory of The Justice Friends is a spoof of this (major being a rank above captain in the U.S. Army).
  • Captain Atom
  • Captain Marvel of Shazam
  • Captain Mar-Vell
  • Captain Britain
  • The Flash rogues Captain Cold and Captain Boomerang are villainous examples.
  • Another villain is Captain Marvel foe Captain Nazi.
  • The Captain from Nextwave. A straight-up parody, as he kept trying to find things to put after "Captain" but kept encountering trouble with it. He went with "Captain ☠☠☠☠" at one point, but got his mouth washed out with soap by Captain America.

 The Captain: I was Captain Power for a while. But then I got sued. Something about a cartoon. Then I changed it to Captain Ron. And got sued. Changed it to Captain L. Ron. Got beaten up by Tom Cruise. I was Captain Universe, but it turned out there was already a Captain Universe. Captain Ultra. There had been one of those. A plumber, would you believe. Broke into my apartment and left a horse's head in my water tank as a warning. Captain Avenger, taken. Captain Avalon, I had to give up(...)I tried Captain Marvel. There've been, like, eight Captain Marvels. One of them was an adult movie star with a lightning bolt on his...anyway. There was a Captain Kerosene. I mean, I was scraping the bottom of the barrel, and there was already a Captain Kerosene. That was my luck right there. I wasn't Captain Rectitude, but I was pretty much all of the other Captains at one time or another. So I gave up. I decided I was just The Captain. And then some marine-looking guy tracks me down and says, "I was The Captain First!". I had to pay him money in the end.

  • Captain Confederacy. Lampshaded in the backup strip "Saks and Violet", where comic artists in the Free City of New York briefly consider a "Captain NYC" character, and one asks why superheroes never seem to rise above Captain.
  • Slightly averted in the Johnson-era satire SuperLBJ and the G.R.E.A.T. Society, where Goldwater is depicted as "COLONEL America". (The real Goldwater's reserve rank was Major General.)
  • Captain Canuck
  • Captain Metropolis is a minor character in Watchmen. His name might be justified by his apparent military background.


  • How To Be A Superhero has several. Lampshaded in the section explaining why superheroes shouldn't try to fund their career with bank loans:

 Superhero: Good morning. I want to apply for a loan.

Bank official: Certainly sir. And what is your name?

Superhero: Captain Whirlwind.

Bank official: Ah, a captain. Well, we offer peferential loans for veterans. What part of the forces did you serve in?

Superhero: Er ... well ... I didn't ... I'm not actually a real captain.


Live Action TV

Video Games

Web Comics


 Susan: Cheerleadra... I can't believe they dubbed her Cheerleadra.

Catalina: Yeah! That's, like, a sidekick's name! They should've called her "Captain" Something! Captain Tiny Skirt!

Susan: <Beat>

Catalina: ...What? I don't have a lot to go on.


Western Animation

Web Original

  • Captain Hammer in Doctor Horribles Sing Along Blog. Lampshaded when Penny asks (in song), "I wonder what he's captain of."
  • Discussed in the three-part series Captain Dynamic, made by Rooster Teeth to promote City of Heroes, the titular character claims that heroes often use the word Captain in their names because it gives people a sense of the military and gives them the power to marry people on a boat.